The fault of Arjuna’s compassion is not just that it was indiscriminate and unexamined. It was mixed with ego. The self-delusion that he was responsible for deciding the nature of his dharma, that the others were fit for compassion, that the decision to fight the war was out of his own free will (see BG 18.58–59) was included in it. Among the various forms of human relationship, compassion is indeed great. There are very few people in the world...
BhagavadGeeta-2
It is claimed often that ours is an Age of Science, an era of intellectual superiority. On the one hand, the intellect is mighty but on the other hand, the mind is fragile. Our times despise difficulties. Let nothing be difficult, may everything be easy – a piece of cake – this is today’s mindset. This starts in our schools. Indian languages have the letters cha, bha, kṣa, hra – who needs these letters? They weary the children. Let us not...
Sri Krishna and Arjuna
At this point, as an example of the severity of the result of one’s own experience, we can recollect the episode of the blind king Dhṛtarāṣṭra. Vyāsa offered to give him the capability to witness the scenes in the battlefield. yadi tv-icchasi saṅgrāme draṣṭum-enaṃ viśāmpate। cakṣur-dadāni te hanta yuddham-etan-niśamaya॥ (Bhīṣma-parva 2.6) Dhṛtarāṣṭra replied – na rocaye jñāti-vadhaṃ draṣṭuṃ brahmarṣi-sattama। yuddham-etat-tv-aśeṣeṇa śṛṇuyāṃ...
Gist ಭರತಕುಲದುಭಯವಾಹಿನಿ ಕುರುರಂಗದಿ ಸೇರಿ ಸಮರಶಂಖಂ ಮೊಳಗಲ್ । ನರನುತ್ಸಹಿಸದೆ ಕೃಷ್ಣಂ ಗೊರೆದಂ ತನಗಾದ ಧರ್ಮಸಂಕಟಭಯಮಮ್ ॥ When the two armies of Bharata’s descendants met at Kurukṣetra, and the war-conch sounded, Arjuna, having lost his will told Kṛṣṇa of his fear and doubt about his dharma Substance When the armies of the Kauravas and Pāṇḍavas gathered at Kurukṣetra, known as dharma-kṣetra—the abode of dharma—Arjuna beheld his elders and relatives in front...
BhagavadGeeta
The Yoga of Life The Bhagavad-gītā establishes and illustrates these three problems of life on a philosophical foundation. There is a place for kāma, a place for artha, a place for dharma, and a place for mokṣa. How is it possible to establish the suitability of attaining one of these four? What are the rules for each of the four puruṣārthas? How are those four courses to be adjusted to ensure that they do not hamper one another? Indicating the...
Puruṣārtha Man is a bag of desires. His life is a river of ceaseless likes and dislikes. Whatever he desires and whatever goals he attempts to attain have all together been termed by our ancestors as puruṣārthas. There are four puruṣārthas – 1. Dharma (good works, virtue, sustenance, global ethic) 2. Artha (wealth, means to fulfill desires) 3. Kāma (desire, enjoyment) 4. Mokṣa (liberation). Kāma and Artha are first desired by all. Both of these...
Manana There is an element of truth that escapes words and can be discerned only through inner experience. That is the secret. Contemplation via considered reflection is the only way to unravel the secret of Brahman. If the study has to be beneficial, it must follow the path of reflection. There is an anecdote in the Bṛhadāraṇyaka-upaniṣad. In the court of King Janaka, Gārgī asks the ṛṣi Yājñavalkya about the structure of the earth and the...
The Importance of Contemplation The Gītā has two intertwined streams of instruction. One is theoretical whereas the other is practical. The theoretical part is especially intellectual with an ascertaining of the truth using an analytical mindset. The practical aspect or sādhana pertains to the emotional mind. The mind when active is known as the citta – ‘Anusandhānātmaka-vṛttimad-antaḥkaraṇam cittam’ (‘The citta is the contemplative mind.’) The...
Let us get back to the Bhagavad-gītā. There are so many punaruktis (repetitions); upamāna-upameyas (comparisons in a simile) and paradoxes. Our attention should be on their purport. When prosaic speech does not suffice and figurative expressions are resorted to even while describing commonplace incidents and worldly experiences, how else could the mind of the philosopher expressing thoughts about the supernatural reveal itself to us without...
It is indicated above that the buddhi is a power that works with the manas. The buddhi is under the influence of the manas. Therefore, to purify the buddhi, it is imperative to purify the manas. Buddhi is an implement that enables reflection.  Manas experiences the product of the buddhi. In Vedānta, jñāna (wisdom) is the same as anubhava (experience). Knowledge of Brahman is the experience of Brahman. Mind is the arena of experience. Unless the...